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Jewish Journal

Rabbi Asher Brander

  • Why Are We Jews?

    January 5, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    "Biblical stories are in our present -- in the cheder we cried when we learned of the sale of Joseph -- and we rejoiced in his ascendancy to power. There was a freshness, a vigor, a nearness, which we felt in that drama." -- Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveichik

    Oh to be a fly on the wall of...

  • Blind Faith

    October 20, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    Jews often live in calendar dialectics. Annually, we oscillate between two Jewish New Years (Tishrei/Nissan) and two "Judgment Days" (Rosh Hashana/Yom Kippur). the Dubner Maggid, Rabbi Yaakov Krantz, perhaps the greatest Jewish storyteller of all time, was once asked: Why do we...

  • What Is Greatness?

    July 28, 2005 | 8:00 pm

    As I sit in the heartland of Israel, surrounded by simple and beautiful people, I am constantly amazed at the kindness, the goodness and the utter simplicity of the average Israeli Jew. It is hard to pinpoint why their lives seem to be so greatly enriched even as they struggle to eke...

  • Of Worms and Greatness

    April 7, 2005 | 8:00 pm

     

    A teacher wanted to demonstrate the evils of liquor to his fifth-grade class. He conducted an experiment with a glass of water, a glass of whiskey and two worms. The teacher put the first worm in the glass of water. The worm wiggled about, happy as can be. Then he put the second...

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  • In Praise of Lambs

    June 3, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    What do Cal Ripken Jr. and Aaron (the high priest) have in common?

    Not much -- except in the mind of a Jew who has passion for Torah and sports. So here goes!

    Aaron receives the commandment to light the menorah everyday. The Torah states: "Aaron did so; he lit the lamps, just as...

  • Give and Take

    February 26, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    Max and Irving went fishing on an overcast afternoon. About two hours into their expedition, a fierce storm developed.

    Their small rowboat tossed, turned and finally flipped over in the lake. Max, a strong swimmer, called to save Irving. Inexplicably, Irving did not respond to any...

  • Why Are We Jews?

    January 1, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    "Biblical stories are in our present -- in the cheder [Easter European elementary school] we cried when we learned of the sale of Joseph -- and we rejoiced in his ascendancy to power. There was a freshness, a vigor, a nearness, which we felt in that drama." -- Rabbi Joseph B....

  • The Power of Memory

    October 30, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Memory is a multibillion-dollar enterprise these days. I am personally on my fourth PDA and angling for a fifth even sleeker, more efficient model. Reminder cards and scheduler programs abound. Capitalizing on human frailty, the memory industry offers compensation.

    For in a world...

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